Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saying goodbye...

What would you say to someone on the phone, if you knew it would be the last time you'd ever get to talk to them again?

My grandma isn't doing well. She's very fragile. She's withered away to almost nothing, she rarely opens her eyes, and she's in some pain. The hospice team is trying to keep her as comfortable as possible, but sometimes it's just not enough. She's not eating and rarely drinking.

She has said that she's ready to go...

I asked my Dad a few days ago if it'd be possible to call her. See, she went to Arizona in February, so I hadn't seen her since then. We had hope she'd be well enough to fly back home and live in a nursing home. That hope has diminished. No airline would let her board in the condition she's in. I even explained to my 5 year old daughter how Mimi, as we call her, would be home soon and I explained to her what a nursing home was and why Mimi needed to live there. I thought I would see her again, I thought I would be able to hug her again, and I thought I would be able to tell her how much I love her and how much she means to me. So I was crushed when I learned that she wouldn't be coming home. And my Dad had said she wasn't up for a phone call. Until, the Husker game.

The Husker game changed everything. She was awake. She had her eyes open. She was chatty and watching the game. My Dad called me and told me to call her right away. I did. And I had thought so long and hard about what I would say to her if I could talk to her one last time. I was nervous when my sister handed her the phone. I didn't want to say the wrong thing. Yet, I managed to.

"Hi Mimi!! How are you feeling?? I want to tell you how much I love you and I miss you."

She responded that she loves us so much and is so glad she got to talk to me. She told me to take care of my babies and that she's proud of me and she thinks about us all of the time.

I said, "I hear you're watching the game. The Huskers are kicking the crap out of Idaho State!"

Uh oh. My grandma, like most, is very polite and lady-like. I've never heard her say anything close to a swear word. She is still as sharp as ever, because she had the wit to tell me, "That's not very nice language!"

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Because it's so true to her form, to want me to be lady-like and to speak her mind, but part of me wanted to cry because that's not exactly how I saw what would likely be our last conversation going. I wanted it to be perfect. And I have been beating myself up about saying the "naughty" word.

I recovered by saying, "Mimi, it's okay when you are talking about the Huskers!" And I told her I loved her, that my children loved her so much, and I handed the phone to my sister.

Was that it? Was that the last thing she'd remember about me? That I had a foul mouth? Which, for the record, I don't think I do.

I know she's going to a better place, with no pain or loneliness. She'll be reunited with her husband, who passed away 20 years ago. She'll be reunited with a son, who she lost when he was a toddler, she'll be reunited with her parents, family, and so many friends. She's at peace with the Lord and I know she's going whip anyone who steps out of line up there right back into shape. And I know someday, I'll see her again and we'll talk for as long as we want to and I'll be able to hug her and kiss her like I want to do so badly right now.

I can't say how long she's going to live. Family is telling me maybe a week or a few more days. By the time this blog posts, she could be gone. Selfishly, I pray that she makes a miraculous recovery and she is able to fly back to Nebraska and that we'll watch a Husker game together soon. If she doesn't, I know she'll be watching over us and cheering right along with us every game day. And I will think twice about ever saying the "C" word ever, ever again.

My Tiny Dancer...

My 5 year old daughter just started her third year of dance classes. We've made it through two years of Tap and Ballet. This year, she wanted to try something new. This year, my little lovely wanted to try Jazz and Hip Hop. As she got ready for class tonight, it made me think.

I could totally handle the Tap and Ballet. Cutesy little outfits, dancing to Taylor Swift or a princess themed song. Hair pinned neatly in a bun, toes pointed, chin up. But we're moving into a whole new world, pardon the Aladdin pun. A world of shorter, more provocative outfits. Sassier music. More suggestive dance poses and movements. And I ask myself, am I ready for this? Is her Daddy ready for this?

The studio does a pretty good job. I don't want to lead you to believe I would allow my daughter to dress like Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman" dancing to "Baby Got Back." It's not quite that bad. But it's a small step away from a pretty bun and all things princess.

Mostly, I'm afraid of letting her grow up. Finding the balance of keeping her little and innocent, and not hovering over her. It's a small leap, I know, and there will be more. And the leaps will only get bigger.

It sounds so dramatic, but she is my baby. My first-born. So aren't we allowed to hold them a little closer? Wasn't she just a little baby, randomly bouncing to songs on the radio? Doing a little dance to Beyonce's "Single Ladies" in her underwear? Where has the time gone?

When I watch her dance, I beam with pride. My baby is up there, doing what she's supposed to be doing, having fun, and learning life long lessons. She loves the stage. And I love watching her. So right now I don't care if she's dancing to "A Whole New World" or if she's shaking her rump to Justin Bieber. As long as I get to be there, and get to watch her work her magic, I'll be happy. I'll be looking up at her in awe. The courage she has to take the stage and dance her heart out. And taking mine right along with her.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Go Huskers, Part 2!

Ahhh... yes. The big game. The first game of the season. The Huskers. And I had tickets. And I was so, so excited. I was going to go, tailgate, have so much fun. Eat. Drink. Watch the drunks. Witness an arrest. I was so pumped.

I ate. A little. I drank. A little. I didn't see a lot of drunks. And I didn't witness an arrest. Did I mention it was five million degrees outside that day? Yeah. I forgot that part. Oh and how did I get tickets? If you remember from last time, I'm not the golden child. But the golden child already had tickets, so they defaulted to me. Yay me.

So the day started off great. I dropped the kids off at Darci's, my mom had come down to babysit them all day. We left around 10:15 so we would have time to tailgate and hang out. It was me, my sister Darci, her husband Marcus, my sister Frankie, her boyfriend/promised-to-be-husband Jon, a friend, Robert, and his daughter, Maggie. All 7 of us rode with Robert, since my husband said if I drove, we'd have to park in Gretna. I haven't gotten around to blogging about his obsession with the DDPP. If you don't know what that is, it's an entirely different topic for another day :)

Bromance in Full Swing in the front seat.

It was sort of a long ride, I'm not going to lie to you. The discussion was on Hy-Vee, sports, and something about airplane restrooms that I won't repeat here. Thank me later. Or now. It was starting to get a little hot outside, but not too bad. We got to Lincoln, got parked, and began our tailgating. And as the day progressed, it got hotter, and hotter, and hotter. And I've learned a few things about tailgating. There should be at least the five following things at any respectable tailgate.

1. Food/Drink. We'll lump this into one category. Most would prefer alcoholic drinks, if we're getting specific.

2. Music or some other form of entertainment. The gentlemen we were tailgating with had a TV. That works.

3. Proper utensils. I brought the cups, bowls, and plates. All matching and all very pretty. Things no one else brought this time would be tongs and silverware.

4. Entertainment of the physical sort. Like a football. Or a bean bag toss game. And chairs for those who prefer to be less physical, more social.

5. For sure. 110%. A canopy tent. That would have been really, really nice. Especially in triple digit weather.

Oh, and Robert, could have used some sort of fashion advice before he left the house in his red and black shirt, navy shorts, and red and black hat. But, he did remember his sunscreen. Bonus points for you, Bobby. Just not enough to do undo the navy shorts.

No, those are NOT jeans. And yes. This is how Bobby puts on his sunscreen.

And yes. Those are pliers he is using to flip and remove the brats.

Darci and Marcus have this crazy, silly tradition that you have to take a Jager shot before each game. And guess what? When you get there early, you take more than one. I'm pretty sure they took 3 or 4. I'm pretty sure they thought I did, too. It helps if you are quick and dump your shot out while all of their heads are back :) I had one. Haha suckas!!!

This is the ONE shot I actually took.
 P.S. Sort of uncomfortable asking your baby sister to take a photo of you while you take a shot.

On the left. My sort of baby sister. On the right. My really baby sister.
My really baby sister isn't 21, and didn't do any shots, just for the record.

So, it was finally game time. OR I should say an hour before. Because Bobby has to be in to see the band. Apparently it's his favorite part of the game. Wop wop! We got our seats. 45 yard line, East stadium, upper balcony. Awesome seats. Terrible, terrible, non-existent shade. I was there for about a minute. Couldn't take it anymore. I had to go sit outside in the breeze for a few minutes. And that's when the real action began. And I'm not talking about football.

I came back in the stadium just after kick off and TD. I was standing right below my section, getting shade from the balcony. And then it started. Everyone started dropping like flies. Passing out. Having heat strokes. Seriously I saw about 7 people in a 20 minute time frame. And at least a dozen in my line of vision in the first quarter. One was pretty bad. It was an 87 year old woman. She had on long sleeves and pants. She fainted right in front of me, and I caught her before she cracked her head on the concrete floor. If you know me, you know I went through a stage when I didn't really "care for" the elderly. I know it's terrible to say, and I don't feel that way anymore, but in my early 20's I couldn't stand them. Except my family of course. I thought this was God's cruel payback to me. That this lady is going to die here in my lap. I fanned her face, I yelled for for help. She was out of it. Completely. Not talking or anything. The American Red Cross came and helped and took her away. And about 20 minutes later, she was back. Standing beside me. Confused, still. Almost out of water. Heading back up in the sun to find her seat. I stopped her. I asked her where her seat was, and she wasn't sure. I knew she wasn't all together yet upstairs. She was still off, I could see it in her eyes. I told her she could stand by me until half time so she could stay in the shade, and then I'd go help her find her seat and her son. So we chatted a bit. I bought her some more water since she left her purse with her son. I talked her out of going back up, alone, many times. I helped her watch for her son, who would surely be getting worried and come looking for her (only NOT). Half time came and went, and there was no sign of her son. She said we were standing by the stairs he would use to go look for her. Turns out we were not even close. We went up and down and up down until she finally remembered her section and we found her son. She seemed to be lively again and her eyes looked normal. So I informed her son what happened and that his mom would probably need to go home and not stay for the game. They stayed for the game, anyway. And he never once came looking for her. Sad.

Anyway, I went back up to my seats and it was still hot. Actually I think it was more hot. Darci texted me that she had seats open near her, and they actually caught a bit of a breeze where they were. So I joined them.It was the first time the entire game that I actually sat down. (It was like 4th quarter I think) and got to actually watch the game.

And it was a pretty good game. But I want a do-over. I want a November game. And I still want to see someone get arrested, darn it!!!